Jake and Bathsheba

A blog by two cats who used to live in the same house in Northern Virginia. Unfortunately, they are both no longer with us.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

She Did It Her Way



My dear Bathsheba died last week.



















She was getting progressively weaker and ate next to nothing, but she still enjoyed drinking water out of the bathroom sink, petting, and going out and around the deck in the mornings. Perhaps she was remembering her glory days when she spent a lot of time outside and was a very successful squirrel hunter.

She didn’t wait for euthanasia; she died in the garden on a bed of leaves.

Some of you may remember Bathsheba’s story. I had lost my six-year-old black cat Gus to stomach cancer in August of 1991, and by October of that year I was ready to add a kitten to my household. I was seeking a male to join my 13-year-old Maine coon named Precious. I had a friend in my office who always seemed to be in the know when cats or kittens needed a good home. A friend of a friend of hers had a cat with kittens. They were barn cats that were born under the back porch of a farmhouse that was enveloped by creeping suburbia. All were polydactyl—having extra toes.

The males of the litter were already spoken for, but I chose feisty Bathsheba at 8 weeks from the females. She and Precious got along from the start. When Jake was added to the mix two and a half years later (through that same friend), she became the odd girl out because she barely tolerated him.

For a while, I kept Bathsheba inside and would only let her out under strict supervision. Of course, she loved the outdoors. When my ex-boyfriend moved in with me and worked from home, he allowed the cats much more outdoor freedom. Bathsheba became a masterful hunter and was remarkably successful with our abundant squirrel population. She once nabbed a squirrel as I hosted a public garden tour. Some guests were appalled, but others asked if I would rent her out to them!

Unfortunately, Bathsheba’s love of the outdoors caused me considerable consternation on several occasions. Sometimes she would spend the night outside, but on two separate occasions, when she was about five and six years of age, respectively, she disappeared for more than a week. Both times she simply reappeared from the woods calling me with her baby meow as if nothing was wrong. Never mind that I had scoured the neighborhood, put up signs, and called the local animal shelters. She also managed to lose the collars I would put on her back in those days.

Bathsheba was never what you would term a “cuddly cat,” but she did have a special connection with me. Whereas Jake would flee from me when I would cry, Bathsheba always came to me and offered a head to scratch and a soft purr. She did not like to sleep up close to me, but she would sleep down by my feet. When I worked in the garden, she liked to watch me, staying just out of reach.

As she aged, Shebie became more of a homebody, knowing that she was safe inside. She lost her hearing and, near the end, became blind in one eye with limited vision in the other. She did still enjoy sniffing the air on the deck, but she no longer ventured beyond the fenced yard that had never confined her in her youth.

Eighteen years is a good, long life for a cat, and she enjoyed good health for nearly all of them. I will miss my dear Bathsheba and love her always. She will never be forgotten.


Thank you all for being such good friends to Jake, Bathsheba, and now Emerson. I'm not sure whether I will continue to blog now that both Jake and Bathsheba are gone, but maybe I will start a new blog or post occasionally with Emerson.

Love,
~Nancy

Labels:

56 Comments:

At Saturday, November 14, 2009 4:33:00 PM, Blogger Daisy said...

I am so sorry that Bathsheba had to go to the Bridge, but it is very fitting that she was out in the garden when she left us. I'll bet Jake will be so glad to see her!

My sincerest condolences and soft purrs to you.

I do hope you will continue to post sometimes with Emerson; I would miss you terribly, otherwise!

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 5:24:00 PM, Blogger Eric and Flynn said...

We are so sorry that Bathsheba has gone to The Bridge, but she went peacefully in her own surroundings. Jake and Bathsheba were two of our first friends and we will miss them both. We hope Emerson can post occasionally as we would be sad to not hear from you again. We send our purrs of condolence and mum sends (((hugs))).

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 5:29:00 PM, Blogger Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

How fitting of her to do it her way...

But then again, I bet woo expekhted nothing less than that from her!

Tank woo fur sharing her...
And kharing fur her!

Of khourse, I'm khwite jealous of her skhwirrel prowess!

We are purry sorry fur your loss...

We hope to see woo here again soon!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra and her mom

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 5:51:00 PM, Blogger ML said...

Sad to hear about sweet Bathsheba, but it was fitting she left in her garden. We know Jake and many others are rejoicing to see her at the Bridge.
Love & Purrs,
KC

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 6:10:00 PM, Blogger The Island Cats said...

We are so sorry to hear about Bathsheba...it's never easy losing a furbaby even when you know their time is coming...we're sure Jake was there to greet her at the Bridge...we're big believers that even if cats didn't get along on earth, they do get along at the Bridge. We hope all the good memories that you have of Bathsheba helps you through this sad time....

We hope to hear occasionally from Emerson...either through this blog or one of his own...

Purrs....

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 6:47:00 PM, Anonymous Sophia, DKM, Fiona Bun and Orlando said...

Hugs

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 7:06:00 PM, Blogger Jan's Funny Farm said...

We are very sorry to hear about Bathsheba, but we are glad to know her passing was peaceful and "her way."

We also hope to hear from Emerson, at least occasionally.

Purrs and barks.

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 7:13:00 PM, Blogger Fat Eric said...

We are so sorry that Bathsheba has passed on, but it is lovely that you have so many wonderful memories of her long life.

Please give Emerson a cuddle from us.

Purrs
Fat Eric and Kate

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 7:26:00 PM, Blogger Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

We'z sending yoo and Emerson some gentle purrs. How very like Sheba to go on her own terms...

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 7:44:00 PM, Blogger CCL Wendy said...

I'm very sorry for your loss of Bathsheba. It sounds like she had an amazing life, and yes, 18 years is a long time for a kitty to live. I was especially touched to know that she passed away outside in the garden where she most loved to be in her prime!

It's wonderful when we can let nature take it's course, and spare our pets that last trip to vet.

I'm sure you will be missing her, but she'll be with you always in your heart and in spirit.

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 7:53:00 PM, Blogger Cory said...

What a beautiful tribute to Bathsheba. She had a wonderful life and left on her own terms. She is now nabbing squirrels at the Bridge. I'm sure she joins my guardian angel dog Colby and brother Lewis chasing those Bridge squirrels.

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 7:54:00 PM, Blogger The 2Bs, Madness and Trouble said...

We are very sad to hear about sweet Bathsheba. She had a special place in our hearts. We send lots of hugs and purrs. We are sure she's having lots of fun running around and chasing the squirrels in the Rainbow Bridge.

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 7:59:00 PM, Blogger momsbusy said...

we are saddened to hear that bathseba passed on. her spirit will live on in the garden she loved so much. sending comforting purrs and prayers to your home. i understand about the blogging right now. i also do not have the heart to post right now.

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 8:13:00 PM, Blogger The Meezers said...

Oh MomNancy, we are so very very sorry that Bathsheba ran off to the Bridge. We haf very leaky eyes.

Bathsheba, we just cannot say good bye to you, so we will just say
Until we meet at the Bridge........

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 8:37:00 PM, Blogger DEBRA said...

Nancy

We are all so sorry to hear of your loss of Bathsheba, there are no words that can embody the loss of nearly 18 years of furry love. We do feel that Jake was patiently waiting at the Bridge for her arrival. It is fitting that her spirit passed on her terms in her garden...now she can run,leap and chase squirrels to her hearts content.
We do hope you will continue blogging about Emerson.
hugs & purrs
Abby

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 9:54:00 PM, Blogger A Few Good Cats said...

We're sending comforting vibes and purrayers for your loss. Bathsheba sounds as though she was determined to be willful and headstrong, and was lovable for being that way. You always will have many good memories of her.

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 9:55:00 PM, Blogger Everycat said...

This is sad news that dear Bathsheba has gone to The Bridge. It was an honour to know her, she was an elegant senior ladycat who knew her own mind. Leaving the way she did was apt and peaceful for an old girl who loved the outdoors. We send you and Emerson, love and rumbly purrs.

Fly free Bathsheba sweetheart

Whicky Wuudler
Angel
Oliver
Gerry & Mum

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 10:20:00 PM, Blogger Victor Tabbycat said...

We is sorry that Bathsheba has run off, joinin Jake an our Bonnie at da bridge. We shoulda stopped by more, but you noe how fings get. We'll nefur furget Jake an Bathsheba. Best wishes to Emerson, who has extra big paws to fill.
Hugs an purrs,
Victor Tabbycat & Nina Torbie

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 10:25:00 PM, Blogger HotMBC aka The Hotties said...

Oh we is so sorry to heer Bathsheba hadta go to tha Bridge. Our eyes is leakin. We sends yoo lotsa purrs of comforts.
Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs,
Sanjee and tha resta tha Hotties

 
At Saturday, November 14, 2009 10:40:00 PM, Blogger Harry Spotter said...

I am so sorry to hear about your sweet Bathsheba. It's hard to lose a loved one. My purrs are with you.

Harry Spotter

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 12:49:00 AM, Blogger Angel and Kirby said...

We are sorry to hear about Bathsheba. We know you loved her dearly and will miss her. She is no longer in pain

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 2:26:00 AM, Blogger Freya's Staff said...

I'm terribly sorry to hear about Bathsheba. I never knew her, but I feel like I did now. You've written a wonderful tribute.

Please continue blogging... Every cat should have a blog. As long as people want to read it, it's worth writing.

xx

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 2:37:00 AM, Blogger LC, Ayla, and Iza said...

Oh! We are so sorry ta hear about Bathsheba goin over the Bridge. We know we get old an die sooner than our Beins, but we wantya ta know that it is OK and we accept that.

The important thing is that Bathsheba had a great time with you an cared about ya an stuff as you cared about an for her. That is the thing ya offer us kitties. Love, care, and deep companionship.

Bathsheba was given all that and who can ask for more?

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 3:11:00 AM, Blogger Karen Jo said...

I am so sorry to hear that Bathsheba went to the Rainbow Bridge. It is very fitting that she went in the garden where she loved to be. I am sure that she is having a ball chasing squirrels and playing.

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 4:17:00 AM, Blogger Poppy Q said...

Sending you hugs at this sad time. We are glad that your girl passed quietly in her garden, what a grand life she had.

Hugs

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 4:40:00 AM, Blogger MISS PEACH ~(^.^)~ said...

Oh Nancy...that is my favorite picture of dear Bathsheba as I like to remember her. I am so sorry that she has gone away up into the heavens to be with Jake and so many of our furrrrrends.
She gave you so many years of comforting touching CATpanionship....may those precious memories comfort you now.
Please know how much I care....love Misses Peach and mommy Karla

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 4:41:00 AM, Blogger Huffle Mawson said...

I am very sorry to hear about Bathsheba. I heard from Eric and Flynn. Soft purrs to you all.

Huffle Mawson

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 6:12:00 AM, Blogger Goldie, Shade and Banshee said...

We are sorry that Bathsheba has gone to the Bridge. It is nice though that she went peacefully lying where she was so happy. She must have been very content and just drifted away. That was a beautiful post for her.

purrs,Goldie,Shade and Banshee

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 7:35:00 AM, Blogger Parker said...

That was such a loving tribute to such a great cat. We loved Bathsheba - and she really did do it her way. Drifting away to the Bridge in a bed of leaves must have been very peaceful.
We are so sorry for your loss and we hope you keep posting for little Emerson...
(((hugs)))

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 8:26:00 AM, Blogger Kari said...

We are so sorry to hear about Bathsheba. She gave you the ultimate gift of love by choosing her own time to cross the bridge. Her loss will be mourned but her life celebrated. Eighteen years. What a rich, full, long life.
She had a loving home, good food, adventure , people to love and for her to love in return.
And when the end came, she rested in the autumn air, in a soft bed of leaves and laid her burden down.

Mum has a special candle she lights when one of us crosses the bridge. She will light the candle for Bathsheba

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 1:02:00 PM, Blogger Rusty said...

I heard about Bathsheba's passing from Eric and Flynn. I'm so sorry that you've lost her, but 18 is a long time and a very good age. As far as her liking to go outside, I was also born a barn cat and Mom tried really hard to make me a housecat with no success. No matter what she did, I wanted to be outside. I knew I had a job to do and that was to keep the yard free of all the little rodents that run loose around here.

I am also 18 and I know that one day I too will join Bathsheba at the Bridge. When I see her, I will give her a lick for you.

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 2:48:00 PM, Blogger Derby said...

Lots of purrs and hugs to you on your loss. Bathsheba did indeed do it her way, going on to The Bridge surrounded by the nature and outdoors she loved.

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 3:17:00 PM, Blogger Mickey,Georgia , Tillie said...

We are very sorry that Bathsheba went to the Bridge, but glad she went in her own time in the outdoors. We think she was happy and peaceful when she went. She did have a good long life,but her passing will still hurt.
{{{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}}}
Purrs Mickey, Georgia & Tillie

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 5:25:00 PM, Blogger Team Tabby said...

We are so sorry to hear you've lost Bathsheba. Eighteen years is a long life and it sounds as if she enjoyed every minute of it, especially being out in the garden where she died.

We hope to hear from Emerson now and again.

purrs,

Mindy, Moe, Bon Bon, Cookie & Mike

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 5:47:00 PM, Blogger Sabrina, Sam and Simon said...

We are so sorry to hear that Bathsheba ventured on to the Bridge, but she led a long, wonderful life filled with love, and your post was a wonderful tribute to her. We are purraying that you can make it through this sad time with all of the good memories to help you ...
Hugs, purrs and headbutts,
Sabrina, Sam and Simon

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 9:55:00 PM, Blogger William said...

What a beautiful post for such a wonderful friend. Eighteen years is a long time to spend with anyone, and we know what a hole this has left in your life and heart. We're so sad for your loss, but we know Bathsheba will never be far from you.

Kissies,

William, Olivia, Caroline, Russell, Gracie and mom.

 
At Sunday, November 15, 2009 10:37:00 PM, Blogger Camie's Kitties said...

We are so very sorry to hear that Bathsheba went to the bridge. We will miss her very much.

Tavi, Cody, Camie and Gracie

 
At Monday, November 16, 2009 12:28:00 AM, Blogger Max said...

Oh no. I am very sorry Bathesheba had to go... She did live a nice long time but that still hurts. :(

 
At Monday, November 16, 2009 6:22:00 AM, Blogger Brian said...

My sisters and I are so very sorry to hear about Bathsheba and it made our whiskers weepy wet. You took the time to share Bathsheba with us so we can remember her forever now. Loving purrs to you all.

 
At Monday, November 16, 2009 10:16:00 AM, Blogger Tiki (& sometimes Kesey) said...

We are very sorry to hear about Bathsheba, but glad that she went peacefully in the garden she loved so much. Purrrs.

 
At Monday, November 16, 2009 11:05:00 AM, Blogger The Furry Kids said...

We are so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing her story with us. She was a very special girl. Hugs and purrs to you and Emerson.

 
At Monday, November 16, 2009 11:29:00 AM, Blogger The Crew said...

Please accept our condolences on the loss of dear Bathsheba. 18 years is an extraordinarily long life for a cat and you were fortunate to have her with you for such a long time.

She & Jake were among our first friends when we started blogging and she will be missed.

Take a break, then give sweet little Emerson his own blog.

 
At Monday, November 16, 2009 2:38:00 PM, Blogger Kaze, Latte, & Chase said...

Oh now we're all leaky. When we got the card we didn't see 'Sheba's name and that made us wonder. Now we know she passed peacefully and gracefully and is with Jake. We love you all so much and we want to keep hearing about Emerson!!

Chase

 
At Monday, November 16, 2009 11:44:00 PM, Blogger Cathy said...

We are so sorry to hear the sad news about Bathsheba. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
MamaCat & the FurryPurries
Ozzy, Alice, Bootsie, Freckles, Lola, Dandelo & Honey

 
At Tuesday, November 17, 2009 4:59:00 PM, Blogger Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

We are so sorry to read this sad news. Bathsheba was one classy Ladycat and she certainly did it her way.
We know she and Jake have met up over the Bridge and are exploring the gardens there.
We hope you won't stop blogging altogether. Perhaps Emerson has some literary tips to share with us?

 
At Saturday, November 21, 2009 1:30:00 PM, Blogger DaisyMae Maus said...

Oh, Nancy (and Emerson) ...

We are ever so leaky and cannot believe that Bathsheba has gone to the Bridge. She certainly was her own cat and dying atop a bed of leaves seems so apropos. Please accept our sincerest and deepest sympathies. We will miss Bathsheba as we do Jake.

With much love,
DMM, the Feline Americans, and Jessica

 
At Saturday, November 21, 2009 2:16:00 PM, Anonymous the cyclone Cats said...

We're not sure what to say that hasn't been said already.

We're very sorry for the loss of Bathsheba. Purrs to you from all of us here.

The Cyclone Cats
Dazey
Jesse
and Conner Cloud

 
At Saturday, November 21, 2009 4:59:00 PM, Blogger Ginger Jasper said...

So sorry to hear you lost the beautiful Bathsheba.. I will keep you in my thoughts.. Hugs GJ and carol xx

 
At Saturday, November 21, 2009 5:00:00 PM, Blogger Cheysuli and gemini said...

Oh our purrs and thoughts! Bathsheba was a well loved cat and we know she will be missed by you. We are sorry to hear of her passing, though we knew this would come all too soon.

 
At Saturday, November 21, 2009 11:56:00 PM, Blogger meemsnyc said...

We are so sorry to hear about Bathsheba. Hugs and kitty kisses to you all.

 
At Monday, November 23, 2009 10:13:00 AM, Blogger The Kool~Kittie~Krew said...

We cmae over from DaisyMae's blog and wanted to tell you how sorry we are to hear about Bathsheba. Just know that she left here knowing the TRUE meaning of love and a furrver home! She is no longer suffering and she will always be watching you all from The Bridge. Again, we are sorry for your loss.

 
At Tuesday, November 24, 2009 2:45:00 PM, Blogger Glogirly and Katie said...

We also came over from DaisyMae's blog. We are so, so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. We are quite sure that Bathsheba was met by lots and lots of furry friends though and she is in good hands.

Our prayers are with you. It's always hardest for those that are left behind.

mew,
Katie & Glogirly

 
At Wednesday, November 25, 2009 5:03:00 PM, Blogger Tyler said...

What sad news! Mom's eyes are all aleaky. She knows how hard it is to lose our kitty's even if they've had a long wonderful life.

Bathsheba was lucky to have found a mom who understood her grumpy ways so well. She sounds a lot like our sister Kali who's also at the Bridge.

We hope that your heart heals quickly.

We would like to get to know Emerson, so we too hope you decide to stay.

 
At Saturday, November 28, 2009 1:04:00 AM, Blogger Rosie & Cheeto said...

Oh, owr hearts and owr lady's heart goes owt to yoo, Nancy! Please take comfort in knowing that both Jake and Bathsheba are watching owt for you from up above just as yoo watched out for them here on earth. They're your guardian angels!

Owr lady is crying rite now so we gotta go call a plumbur.

 
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At Thursday, December 24, 2009 6:15:00 PM, Blogger Jan's Funny Farm said...

We know you are missing Bathsheba for the holidays.

 

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